MOST REVIEWS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM TRIP ADVISOR
Arriving from Nelspruit on 1st August we were greeted with one of the biggest smiles I have seen - meet Steve with a glass of hot amarula,(he was to look after our eating and refreshment needs throughout our stay) it was quite chilly at the time so the hot Amarula was welcome, we were just too late for the evening game drive thanks to our tour company getting all the pickup times wrong but were immediately asked if we would like to catch it for the late afternoon drive, we declined because we had been travelling a long time and just wanted to relax for the evening. The bags were in our room before you could blink and we were shown up and advised that we would get a call at 05:30 next morning for the game drive. the room, I have to say was spectacular (room 8) but we checked out some of the other rooms while we were there and they are all of a superb quality (ask for an elevated room if you wish to overlook the nearby watering hole). Next morning, in the bar we were greeted by our Ranger Jehanne, he could not get our tea and coffee quick enough and we were to learn throughout our stay that his knowledge of all things wild and bushlike is extraordinary!!! Our tracker Ronnie has eyes like the radar on Air Force one, didn’t miss a thing in 7 days. The game drives - well if you haven’t done one before, you just have to be there, all the rangers from different lodges work together on the radio so you miss nothing and those jeeps get into some funny places believe me. WE WILL RETURN TO LEOPARD HILLS without a doubt, it is now like our bush home from home.
A MOST MAGICAL PLACE! *****
It’s difficult to put into words just how special Leopard Hills is...but I shall try! My husband and I stayed for 3 nights from 21 - 24 June 2013 and what a wonderful 3 nights we had! We were warmly greeted by Bridget on arrival and shown by Mandla to our gorgeous room - every detail from the bedtime story left on the bed to our bath being drawn on the last night was thought of and the view from the private deck and outdoor shower was exquisite.
Dinner was a pleasure! Executive Chef Stuart introduced himself (a nice touch) and the collective gathering at dinner is a wonderful way to make new friends and hear stories of what the next day might bring. Steve and Andrew looked after us wonderfully and their relaxed and cheerful approach never wains!
Of course, our bush experiences were the highlight! Our guide Raymond and tracker Eric were like magicians! They managed to conjure up the most marvellous experiences and sightings! We saw leopards duelling at dawn, lions mating at dusk and everything else you can imagine in between! We went on a wonderful game walk with Jehanne who educated and informed us with such enthusiasm!
Duncan was a wonderful host and joined us each day for a catch up at breakfast and lunch on the terrace.
There are many highlights to our trip but worthy of a special mention are: Steve’s big smile, Eric’s special hot chocolate, our hot water bottles for the early morning game drive, the views from the terrace, a close encounter with the Big 5 (and then some), our gorgeous room, the food (it is wonderful and never-ending) and lastly, the gracious hospitality afforded to us by every member of staff!
Only down side? We had to leave :-( But, with luck, we shall return and I have no doubt that the fond memories that we have of Leopard Hills will be repeated.
1ST CLASS ‘AFRICAN BUSH’ ESCAPE *****
With memories of my first visit in 2008 still vivid, the same warm and cheery greeting awaited us last week too. Stephen with his booming smile, Bridgette and Duncan as welcoming as before, particularly to my Son (9), this to be his first ever Bush experience. And what a treat of wildlife the next 4x days had in store for us. Our Big 5 seen repeatedly, including Mating Lions and Leopard with hunting Cub, and surprise highlight of Cheetah mother with young heckled by pair spotted hyena. 100’s photos later (understatement),, I could really go on, where Leopard Hills abundance of sightings was equally matched by hospitible and unobtrusive 5 star service. Mandla’s 6am game drive wake up call, Raymond’s keen game knowledge and Eric’s eagle eye (coffees and entertaining stories), to Chef Stuart and staff’s gastronomy and attendance. Collectively together all enjoyed from most generously and tastefully appointed luxury chalets, complete with own private viewing deck, plunge pool and sun loungers, affording relaxed and expansive views across the watering hole and Sabi Sands beyond. By the time we had to leave it felt like a ‘home away from home’. Collectively another unforgettable experience, thank you again, we plan to visit again next year.
FANTASTIC STAY - SUPERB STAFF & SERVICE *****
My husband and I stayed at Leopard Hills for 4 nights on our honeymoon, and it was, by far, the highlight of our trip. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful (particularly those in the dining room), and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the game drives led by our ranger, Hugo and tracker, Eric. Both went above & beyond to ensure all guests were pleased with their experience and comfortable for the drives. The villas were beautiful - very clean, with gorgeous views of the reserve. We thank the entire staff for a wonderful stay - we hope to return again in the not too distant future!
I must admit that I had high expectations for this game reserve given the pictures and great reviews. From the moment I arrived and found elephants eating right in front of my room, I was not disappointed. In fact, the first day was so incredible, it was hard to top it.
Elephants and Nyla were in front of my room/balcony most of my first afternoon and for my first evening safari I saw leopards mating, giraffes, rhinos, lions, elephants and much more.
The next morning, just when I thought it could not get any better, we saw a cheetah (which are very hard to find!). That evening, when we returned from our game drive, the staff had a hot bubble bath waiting for me in my room (they had overheard me mention how much I love taking baths). That was one of the highlights of the trip.
I would definitely recommend this game reserve if you want a quiet place to get away. This resort is very small/boutique, but was perfect for what I needed.
THE NAME IS PROGRAM *****
Our villa had a sun deck with a plunge pool and an outdoor shower. We regularly saw animals while sitting outside.
In a tastefully done bathroom was a free standing bathtub with the same view. The equipment of the room matches the high standard of the resort.
Architecturally surprisingly well adapted to the rock it stands on is the restaurant / bar. From the outside dining area the view is directly to a waterhole and the hilly area around the resort.
Service in the restaurant is excellent and personal with a special touch. The food is very good. During dinner our ranger hosted a table for the group.
The lodge has a huge library in an own building. WLAN is available in the library only.
The game drives are exceptionally good. Viewing of all big five is almost certain on most drives. The animals are used to the Land Rovers and the cats are sometimes practically on touching distance. Even on a bush walk during the day we had sights such as a group of hippos grassing.
The leopard sightings were amazing and justify rightly the name Leopard Hill.
We switched rangers due to their schedule. Both rangers were very good and with a personal touch. Eric – the tracker – stayed with us during the five nights stay. He is a little shy at the beginning, but he tells a lot of entertaining bush stories during the coffee or drink break.
Truly special place!
My boyfriend and I spent one night (unfortunately) at Leopard Hills on our way back home from another lodge in the Kruger. Having been lucky enough to have visited Leopard Hills on many occasions before- I was really looking forward to our very brief stay since it has been a few years since my last visit.
I thought I’d write a new review now since quite a bit has changed since then. Most of the rooms have been renovated (the rest are currently under renovation) and are really quite beautiful- very much a modern Africa feel. The decks have been extended and the bathrooms completely revamped- there is underfloor heating and heated towel racks as well as the nifty sensor bathroom light that comes on when you stumble your way to the bathroom at night. Other small changes include reading lights above the bed, nespresso machines, tons of lighting options including a pool light, as well as well-located and international plug fixtures (this may sound silly but the number of places we have been to with plugs that are inaccessible, or that we are unable to use blows my mind).
The game viewing, as usual, was more than we could have hoped for. Leopards, lions, cubs, elephant, hippo, giraffe, zebra and the list goes on... –this was only on 2 game drives!! Our ranger Hugo and tracker Eric were wonderful.
I haven’t been to any other lodges in the Sabi Sands (but have heard good things about many of them) so I wouldn’t be able to compare- however Leopard Hills will always hold a special place in my heart, and when you come across a place that is so perfect it’s hard to even contemplate going elsewhere. If you are planning a trip to Sabi Sands (highly recommended) then go to Leopard Hills- you will be blown away.
AMAZING EXPERIENCE *****
My wife and I stayed at Leopard Hills in late April as the second lodge we visited in the Kruger area. The first lodge was fantastic but Leopard Hills took the whole experience to another level. Tracking of the animals in their natural environment was exhilarating with the tracker and ranger displaying exceptional skills and with the latter keeping us entertained with his cheeky personality. The drive environment was very conducive to rapidly developing a rapport with other guests. The lodge itself was first class from the wonderful accommodation, to the great central areas and to the library and the gym. We sat on our balcony and watched elephants eat their way through the bush just below and hippos visit the watering hole just down the hill.
The service team was amazing without exception and Duncan should be proud of the group that he has put together and trained. We could not rate Leopard Hills any higher and look forward to a return visit in the future.
THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR HONEYMOON! (MANAGEMENT AND STAFF SUPERB) *****
We stayed at Leopard Hills in early April as part of our Honeymoon (South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe), all the places we stayed at on our trip were 5* Luxury accommodation, but I can say without reservation Leopard Hills was the highlight! We saw more/such diverse game during our stay than we did during the rest of our trip (yes even Botswana!).
The service was quite extraordinary – they possess that rare quality (not often found these days) of making each and every guest feel very special and the attention to detail is truly hard to beat. Honestly, how many superlatives can I use to describe Leopard Hills? well, even if I digested a whole dictionary it wouldn’t be enough!! The surroundings are beautiful, the food unforgettable, rooms are magnificent, the decor stunning and the games drives truly great.
The management and staff were exemplary - very welcoming, warm, professional and hard working ....... and entirely honest and trustworthy (as one would expect in a high end establishment such as this, but just to share MY experience) early one morning in my eagerness to get on the drive vehicle I rushed out - after having washed my hands, grabbed my camera/things etc. and realised later that I had inadvertently left my diamond engagement ring and new wedding ring – which was actually an heirloom (my grandmother’s wedding ring which I had had resized for my wedding, so it was of significant sentimental value) in the room! They were there when I got back (and yes the maids HAD been in to clean the room).
Any down sides? YES! I now have withdrawal symptoms as I constantly want to be back there!!!!
TRIP OF A LIFETIME! *****
My husband and I stayed at Leopard Hills for 4 nights in February 2013 and had one of the most memorable vacations ever. Every detail has been thought about here. The service was superlative, surroundings beautiful, the food world-class, rooms magnificent, the decor stunning and the games drives phenomenal. We stayed in room #8 which has in my opinion the best view of the watering hole. My husband and I would sit in our lounge chairs on our massive deck and watch the animals come in for a drink. A private game reserve is absolutely the best way to get up close and personal with the animals. The rangers are professional and exceptionally knowledgable about all of the animals and plants in the bush and make every effort to ensure that you see what you want to see. The game drives were our favorite part of our stay here. We saw so many animals from leopards, lions, rhinos, elephants, girafees, water buffalo, hippos and lots of birds. We also viewed baby elephants, baby lions, and a young leopard cub. We still get teary eyed when we think about our time here as it has truely touched our heart in ways we couldn’t imagine.
UBER COOL *****
This place has the perfect vibe to make you calm and relax. With just 8 units it does make it a very personalized experience as the staff are just fantastic with service levels. Right from the restaurant to the safaris all staff are friendly and accommodating whether it be food preference of a specific animal spotting. The viewing was totally fantastic as the very first drive we say the leopards mating which is quite rare and we were one of the fortunate ones to experience it. The next morning another leopard with her cubs were displaying all sorts of playful acts which again made for a great viewing. Totally recommend this for an experience of a kind.
INCREDIBLE MEMORIES OF AN INCREDIBLE LODGE... *****
My wife and I stayed at Leopard Hills on the first part of our honeymoon in June 2008 (apologies its taken so long to write this review)....
From the moment we arrived we knew we were in for an incredible treat. As it was our first safari and visit to South Africa - we were a little unsure of how it would all operate - but safe to say - we loved every minute of it.
I had booked the reservation almost 1.5 years in advance (it was our honeymoon after all) and I had specifically requested Suite # 8 as I was told this was a superb suite... how right that turned out to be.
All of the staff from the rangers & spotters to the waiting staff and management where all simply superb.
One of the many highlights was early one morning when we went on game drive, our ranger happened upon a leopard who had just made a kill and was commencing its morning breakfast. There was only my wife and I on the large jeep with the spotter and the ranger. We watched this incredible sight for around 30mins before our ranger alerted others via radio of the location. About 10mins later, a jeep carrying at least 14 tourists from the Ulusaba Lodge (Richard Bransons one nearby) turned up. I’m not sure what they were more interested in, the fact there was a wild leopard eating an Impala in front of them, or staring at my wife and I wondering how on earth we were having a private safari with our own ranger + spotter! It was hilarious!
When we reserved we understood that each night, all of the guests (from the eight suites) dine together, at first I was very unsure about this, as we wanted to have some quiet meals alone together, but this turned out to be one of the real highlights of our stay and we met some fantastic people, that we are still in touch with to this day. Speaking of the food.... EVERY single piece of food served was spectacular, some of the finest i’ve experienced globally!
We are looking forward to returning to Leopard Hills in the future and wish the team there all the success in the world. PS - i’m pencilling in a date for our 7 year anniversary (so only 2 years to go) - so keep Suite 8 free.
This was my third visit to Leopard Hills and it was as wonderful as the others. The lodge itself is very special - every need is catered for and the rooms (especially the recently refurbished ones) are a joy to spend time in (all the suites will have been refurbished later this year), but what really sets this place apart from all the other luxury lodges in Sabi Sands is the excellent team of staff who in an unobtrusive way take care of your every need. Everyone on the team knows your name and work tirelessly to ensure you have a fabulous time. The food was excellent with good choices and Jacques the chef ensured he and his team knew our likes and dislikes. Many of the team are keen photographers and so when one of our co-guests had a problem with their camera, the staff were able to resolve ift- just one example of how the team goes the extra mile.
January is probably not the ideal time to visit - the bush is lush with growth making game viewing more challenging, but our ranger Raymond and tracker Ronald (who makes a mean Gin and tonic) found us plenty to see including several sightings of rare wild dogs, lions (with cubs), leopard (with cub), elephants, rhinos etc etc etc. If you can plan your visit for the SA winter then the game viewing is much more reliable in June/July. Even so, a visit to Leopard Hills at any time of the year is a great way to spend time.
THIS LODGE IS FABULOUS *****
My partner and i visited leopard hills for 4 nights in September of this year. Our guide was Dave and our tracker Abraham. We had the honeymoon suite and it was a dream room. This camp is well run, upscale and attention to detail is excellent. We saw 4 leopards, a leopard kill and every other animal and bird on our list. Herds of elephants, rugs of lions. Dave and Abraham really worked hard to give us the best possible trip and they succeeded. Heinrich, Bridgette and the entire staff made sure our stay was fabulous. Food outstanding. This camp is a class act.
THE MOST MEMORABLE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE EVER AND THE DAY WE LEFT OUR HEARTS IN AFRICA *****
From the moment we arrived at the local airport having travelled 14 hours we were met by our Ranger Dave who instantly put us at our ease, . We reached the game lodge and to say it blew us away is an understatment. Our lodge was to die for..... own deck pool and out side shower, fully stocked mini bar, and tastefully decorated, beautiful. We had 6 game drives, mornings and evenings, within this we had to fit in morning coffee, a stop to have bush mix on the drive, back for breakfast , relax, then lunch, tea, then off for another drive, with a stop for a sundowner before heading back for dinner to share the day. The staff and food were so very friendly and exceeded all expectations. However the most mind blowing experience was sharing the game drive with our companions led by Dave our guide and our tracker Abraham. We saw everything you can imagine thanks to the knowledge and passion of Dave, but it was more than just seeing the beautiful animals, some with their babies it was the circumstances in which we saw them that is truly memorable. Suddenly spotting a Hippo charging through the bush to the waterhole, or the lionesses hiding her cubs, i could go on. Magical and my heart in now in Leopard Hills.
UNFORGETTABLE HONEYMOON EXPERIENCE *****
Had the most fantastic, relaxing & exciting time at leopard hills. Staff are genuinely friendly & extremely professional. Lodgings were beautiful with that quintessential safari/bush feel. We witnessed an elephant drinking from our pool on the 2nd day.
Rangers & trackers excellent & knowledgeable. When I initially saw the price I felt it was expensive however having experienced it in person I realise it was well worth it & a once in a lifetime experience.
Contrary to earlier report I felt the food was to a high standard. Also good selection on wines & spirits. Mini bar also well stocked. Pinotage was v nice. Hubbie loved the dried beef! I was more taken with the jelly beans ;)
Lots of toiletries in lodge. Replaced as needed.
It was chilly on the morning/evening drives so bring a fleece. Ranger Also provide a warm poncho if needed.
Thank you to all the staff at leopard hills for making it an unforgettable experience.
DREAM HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE *****
This place is magic. From the warm and genuine greeting to the generosity which allowed us to stay after the 11 o’clock check out until 3 on our last day (with another glorious lunch) so that we wouldn’t have a lengthy airport wait, Leopard Hills wants you to feel like you are staying with some old friends who have won the lottery. The lodge is of course beautiful, food and wine fantastic and abundant as you would expect because it is really expensive, but less expected was the warmth and homeliness of the experience which we really appreciated. We arrived late on the first night of our 3 night stay and had our first meal in the boma - outside. Everyone seemed to know us and we were immediately at ease. Game drives start early which was a slight shock -you are woken at 5 am with a gentle knock on the door- but as soon as you are under way the animal experiences begin and all thoughts of sleep are left behind! We saw everything we hoped to see and more - baby hippos, lions fighting over a fresh kill - all amazing. Couldn’t fault it.
JUST PERFECT IN EVERY WAY *****
My husband and I stayed at Leopard Hills Lodge for 5 glorious nights and days in July 2012. Our stay was on the tail end of a month long incredibly wonderful visit to Botswana , South Africa, and Zambia. Every detail of our time at Leopard Hills was perfection. The service was so warm and friendly we felt like family; well maybe like members of a royal family as we were treated as if we were a king and queen. The food was absolutely delicious and the presentation was exquisite. There were ample choices for the most particular palate from the buffet style breakfast with warm dishes to order, to the lunch with quite a menu variety, to the dinners with choices for each course . The suites were just the right combination of African rustic and elegance; so private and spacious. Every time we returned to our lodge all was perfectly clean; exquisite personal notes and African bedtime stories of the bush were left on our bed with chocolate treats every evening and the mosquito netting was perfectly draped around our deliciously comfortable bed. Our laundry returned clean and crisply pressed each afternoon. We watched monkeys, baboons, and waterbuck from the deck of our room every afternoon. One evening after we returned from our game viewing drive, a scented bubble bath had been drawn for us . Now to the absolute best part; the game drives. Our ranger was Raymond and our tracker Eric. They were knowledgeable and expert at tracking and finding the animals. We began every morning with hot water bottles to keep us toasty(it was winter during our visit) and were treated on every drive with a great variety of animal sightings and information about the bush flora and fauna. Each morning we stopped for hot chocolate and or coffee(try Eric’s special blend) and on the afternoon drive we stopped somewhere lovely for the sunset with sundowner drinks and appetizers. We saw numerous leopards including a female up a tree with her impala dinner, male lions eating a kudu, baby elephants playing in the sand by the side of the river, 100’s of stampeding Cape Buffalo, hippos soaking in the water and sunning on the banks of the river, a charging rhino; all of it lives in our memories and in our photographs. One night we had a dinner in the Boma(outdoor enclosure) with a big bonfire and a local group from a neighboring village came to sing and dance for us. It was a magical evening. Our hearts and memories are full of the warmth of our host Duncan and his family and staff and our fabulous stay at Leopard Hills Lodge. I dream of the day when we can return.
BEST HOLIDAY *****
Leopard Hills is one of those places that will always stay with you. I am absolutely in love with this place and would return every year for the rest of my life if i could!
The lodge is absolutely wonderful. The rooms are spacious, beds very comfortable, and the deck and splash pool area provides the perfect way to relax after the morning drives or after lunch. The food on the whole was absolutely phenomenal! Food one would expect from only the best restaurants. Breakfast buffet was just what was needed after the game drive, lunch was great with options to choose from, afternoon tea delicious and dinner always provided an “african” option of kudu/springbok/crocodile etc. If anything they offer you so much delicious food you end up feeling too full and unable to finish meals:)
Staff were friendly and happy to oblige any request. Game rangers so knowledgeable and we were treated with incredible sightings every game drive we went on!
This is a must do if visiting the Kruger Park- an unforgettable experience.
TOTAL LUXURY AND PRIVACY *****
Staying at Leopard Hills was the highlight of our trip. Duncan and all the staff at Leopard Hills went out of their way to make our stay at Leopard Hills an unforgettable experience. The food was amazing and the privacy of the suites was all that a safari should be. Raymond was our guide and Eric was our tracker. They both displayed a great respect for the bush and we had excellent sightings. Good leopard sightings, good lion sightings, rhino, elephant and we saw a herd of over 300 buffalo. So the game viewing was spectacular. The lodge is situated on a hill overlooking a waterhole which also adds a special feel to ones safari.